Tag Archive for: ABPN

The Going Rate: ABPN Passing Rates

Curious what the passing rate for the ABPN exam looks like? Wondering what your odds of passing on the first try are? We’re here to answer your questions!

Passing rates over 5 years

The ABPN posts their averages for first time passers in 5 year increments.

ABPN passing rate for first time test takers

From this chart, first time test takers have an almost 90% pass rate for their Psychiatry boards! That’s pretty good odds! But why take a chance? ! Check out our Question Banks and find the best option for you! Or, contact us with any questions you have so we can get you on the right path today!

Test Anxiety and How to Manage It!

Test Anxiety and Performance

Most people know that chronic or acute anxiety has negative impacts on performance. This is particularly true for academic performance in the form of test anxiety. But, what is more stressful than going in to take an exam that will determine the rest of your career? Obviously this goes without saying that exams and anxiety go hand in hand.

However, some people are impacted by this more than others. There are a few factors that influence this, and if you fall into one of these categories, we hope we can offer some help to get you through your next exam with flying colors!

Glasses on notebook from test anxiety

Working memory can amplify the effects of test anxiety

Everyone feels the effects of anxiety. It makes it harder to concentrate, bring information to mind, and sucks your motivation. But there are some lucky individuals that feel these effects harder than others.

Working memory (WM) capacity, or the amount of information you’re able to hold in mind at a given time, differs across individuals. The more WM capacity you have, the more easily you can hold bits of information at the front of your mind and retrieve that information for a task at hand. The lower your WM capacity, the harder this is. This capacity varies from person to person.

People with low WM have increased effects of anxiety on test performance. The relationship seems to be: anxiety interrupts WM (which is already having a hard time), which in turn effects retrieval of additional information. Further, the anxiety the person is feeling diverts attention from the task at hand to worrying about their performance. This results in reduced performance which is not reflective of the person’s true ability!

Distress load

Another factor that can make test anxiety worse some compared to others is total distress their experiencing. Regardless of their working memory, if a person is experiencing high levels of distress, they will under perform on academic tests. High stress shuts down your prefrontal cortex which interrupts executive functioning and critical thinking. This leads to higher anxiety, reduced attention, and thus lower scores.

If you’re experiencing extraneous factors in your life that are causing you significant distress, this may have detrimental effects on your academic strivings.

So we know these different things hurt some people more than others, but what can we do about it?

Social Support

As we all know, people are social creatures. Studies have shown that increases in social support negatively predict test anxiety. So what does this mean? Stop studying for a hot minute and go chill with your friends! (What, a test prep site is telling me to NOT study??- yes!) The more we experience social support, the less likely we are to experience test anxiety. Does this mean it magically disappears? Unfortunately, no. But, it can help mitigate the amount you experience!

Self-Esteem

Self-concept, self-esteem, call it what you want. Individuals that have a greater capacity for self-esteem or self-care tend to have greater academic achievement, and this can reduce the effects of anxiety you experience. This isn’t a one size fits all concept. Some people come in knowing they’re the cat’s pajamas (and let’s be real, you really are 😉 ), but others need some help seeing the value they bring to the table just by being themselves.

Not to be repetitive, but if you fall into the second category, try getting around some people that help boost you up! If this isn’t a friend or other trusted person, sometimes seeing a counselor can help shift our perspectives on ourselves just a bit. And clearly the implications of doing this will reap reward!

Studying skills…what about those?

One last interesting thing about those of us that experience higher levels of test anxiety is we generally have GOOD study skills! So know that you have the tools to accomplish what you’re aiming for. You aren’t less intelligent even if your test scores come out lower than you know you can do. We know that, too.

At the end of the day, text anxiety can’t be totally dispersed as much as we’d like it to be. But, if you know you’re someone prone to experiencing it, we hope we dropped a few tidbits to help you get through your next round of exams with a little less stress! Want some extra practice? Try our question banks – FREE- using our Free Trial! Or if you’re ready to take the plunge, check out our Question Banks and find the best option for you! Or, contact us with any questions you have so we can get you on the right path today!

REFERENCES: Hyseni Duraku, Z., & Hoxha, L. (2018). Self-esteem, study skills, self-concept, social support, psychological distress, and coping mechanism effects on test anxiety and academic performance. Health psychology open5(2), 2055102918799963.

Matthews, G., Wohleber, R. W., & Lin, J. (2020). Stress, skilled performance, and expertise: Overload and beyond.

How does perfectionism affect your life?

Are you a self-diagnosed perfectionist? Or maybe you know someone else who says they are. It may seem like people with a proclivity for perfectionism have a higher degree of finesse or accomplishment. This can be intimidating for those of us that don’t identify with this mindset. It can make you feel like your performance or abilities are less-than in comparison. But did you know the data doesn’t really support this idea?

Dart on a bullseye perfectionism

Perfection is Unattainable (And Unassociated with…)

Yep, you read that right. Try as we might, no one is perfect (duh!). This is obvious, and, particularly in the psychiatric field, it becomes a mantra of sorts that we share with clients and patients as a way to soothe their worries. What’s more, perfectionism isn’t actually associated with academic success of accomplishment.

But wait, you say, I know someone who says they’re a perfectionist and they’re so smart! Sure they are. But a study conducted (back in the 90’s!) on academically gifted students versus typical cohort students found that there was no association between self-perceived perfectionism and academic giftedness (Parker, 1996). Another study by the same author looked only at academically talented students and assessed perfectionism within that group and found a normal distribution of non-perfectionistic type (32.8%), healthy perfectionistic type (41.7%), and dysfunctional perfectionistic type (25.5%), further suggesting perfectionism is not highly associated with academic accomplishment (Parker, 1997).

What Perfectionism IS…

Perfectionism can actually hurt the people that feel this way. Perfectionism is strongly associated with negative symptoms of anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive inclinations, and distress. This is due to the impossible task of trying to achieve something we – quite literally- cannot. It also can wreck havoc when taking a standardized test that penalizes for missing answers. Instead of taking a best guess and moving on when encountering a difficult question, a perfectionist tends to sit and agonize because they want to be sure. They want to know their answers are just right.

Does this mean those that live for attention to detail and dotting all the i‘s and crossing the t‘s are doomed? Of course not! Everyone has strengths and weaknesses that contribute to what makes them unique. The important thing to see here is that whether or not you like perfectionism, it does not predict your ability to be a competent physician, psychiatrist, student, or worker.

For the perfectionist and non-perfectionist alike, give our question banks a try- FREE- using our Free Trial! Or if you’re ready to take the plunge, check out our Question Banks and find the perfect 😉 fit for you! Or, contact us with any questions you have.

REF: Parker, W. D., & Mills, C. J. (1996). The incidence of perfectionism in gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly40(4), 194-199.

Parker, W. D. (1997). An empirical typology of perfectionism in academically talented children. American Educational Research Journal34(3), 545-562.

Avoiding Burnout at the End of the Year

We’re almost to the finish line of 2022! This time of year is rife with the possibilities of BURNOUT. Are you starting to feel the creeping feelings of exhaustion, alienation, or reduced performance? Or just feeling like you’re ready to be DONE with this phase? Burnout is common, especially among care providers, but it doesn’t have to take over your Holiday season. We have tips and tricks on how to avoid the end of year burnout so you can finish out strong.

man lying on road with burnout marks

What is burnout and why are we talking about this?

First, what exactly is burnout, and what causes it? This might seem like a silly question. But it’s worth talking about for a second. According to Mayo Clinic, burnout is “…a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity”. In other words, you’ve been doing the same (or similar enough) things for a long time and you’ve reached your capacity to keep doing it at the same performance level.

This is important to talk about because burnout and depression share a lot of similar symptoms. And while you might be experiencing the dragging feeling of typical tiredness, late October through end of February are the months when some folks tend to face the worst symptoms of depression as well. Why? A few reasons are the culprit: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), spurred by the lack of sunshine and being cooped up inside, holidays spent without family or friends (whether due to a death or alienation), or inversely holidays spent WITH family or friends that are not safe to be around can be the top of the list.

Depression and burnout can feel the same, except for a few key differences. Burnout almost always is focused around performance of a task, such as school or a job or even long term care of a loved one. You feel tired, cynical, irritable, emotionally numb, have trouble concentrating or getting going, or gastrointestinal issues. Depression involves all of these, but also low self esteem, hopelessness, and/or suicidal ideation. For your own wellbeing, it’s essential to distinguish between these two things.

If you are experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or others please reach out for help. Call 988 to contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for 24/7 free access to support.

Let’s talk about how to help!

Ok, this is easier said than done (as most things are). You’re experiencing some burnout, whether that is from finals, rotations, school demands, or your current work position. We have some ideas on how to help you get through the next few weeks or months:

  • Get support. This can’t be stressed enough. Grab a cup of coffee with a friend, call your mom/therapist/other trusted person, or commiserate with your cohort. People are social beings and we need to be in community with others to thrive. You will be amazed how much better you’ll feel just by venting for an hour to another person!
  • Journal. A great tool for monitoring your stress and coping levels is by journaling for a few minutes every day. The act of expelling all the negative feelings you have out of yourself is something quick (more or less), easy, and free. It’s also something that can create a sense of autonomy over your stress. Writing things out allows you to evaluate and mull things over in a different way that can lead to more creative solutions or coping!
  • Self-care stress management. Again, easier said than done, but will reap benefits if you implement it. This looks like aerobic exercise, yoga, mindfulness meditation, or a hobby that relaxes you (art, crafting, reading, bubble baths, sitting under a tree…the options are endless!). Carve out the time for YOU and no one else that has nothing to do with any of the things stressing you out.
  • If possible, do something that actively makes your situation better. How? If you’re a student prepping for a board exam or needing help with the school year, give our question banks a try- FREE- using our Free Trial! Or, contact us about our tutoring options!

REF: Depression: What is burnout? Informed Health Online. https://www.informedhealth.org/what-is-burnout.html. Accessed May 13, 2021

Swenson S, Shanafelt T. Mayo Clinic Strategies to Reduce Burnout: 12 Actions to Create the Ideal Workplace. Oxford University Press; 2020.

Failure is a Fearsome Thing. Here’s How to Combat It.

Didn’t make the score you hoped? While it sure feels like a failure, here’s why it isn’t the end of your journey.

Man holding sign that says "failure"

Failure Does Not Define You!

When you spend so much time (and money!) preparing for a big test, failing can feel like a literal slap in the face. Picture this: you’ve been studying like crazy, going through exam prep books, watching lectures, taking practice exams, and the week of your test you get a cold. Then your car breaks down. And it’s finals week. You do your best, but still come out short of what you were aiming for.

Quitting time? Sure feels like it. You probably feel like an imposter, like anyone else “would have” done better (when in reality, a healthy and non-distracted you would have done better, too!). You start to second guess if you should even be trying to do this field, or if you should opt for something different. This is the time to take a step back.

Did that short score feel like a punch in the gut? Absolutely. Does it mean you are a failure in everything you do? Of course not! Take a minute and think of all the amazing accomplishments you’ve made to get this far. Whether that be post-secondary education, publications, presentations, or any of the other hundred or so responsibilities you’ve smashed in the last few years. You. Are. Doing. A. Great. Job.

Who, Me?

Yes, you! Some days we will fall short and that is terrifying. But it also should be inspiring when you look back and see how far you’ve come from where you started. It is too easy to get wrapped up in all the prepping and studying that our very identities become enmeshed in the outcome of something like a psychiatry board exam. While they are important and definitely will be a requirement to pursue this field, sometimes it’s worth stepping back and remembering who YOU are is more than the number that test will spit out.

We all need this at times. Even when the board exams are behind you, different things will crop up in your career that will leave you reeling and questioning everything. No one is perfect, and no one can predict what life will throw at you. All you can do is evaluate the situation at hand and….

And… And What??

Study, work hard, and do your best! After you’ve taken your day or two to breathe, dive right back in. Is that first score a disappointment? Yep. But that score does not mean YOU are a disappointment. It means you get another opportunity to give it your best shot and come in swinging. You can also check out our previous blog on what to do after you’ve failed an exam for more direction on where to go next!

Maybe give a question bank a shot 😉 (see our free trial here!)

Preparing for your Board Exams: How to make the MOST of your time!

Life can be incredibly hectic AND it can be seemingly impossible to fit in studying for your Board Exams but with the right planning & priorities, anything is possible.

Think of it in straightforward terms…Each day we’re 86,400 seconds the same as before, and the same as the subsequent day. But as you add tasks, activities, and other daily necessities that number shrinks and it can feel like there’s no time left to study or even eat (oof).

“So what do I do?!” you may question.

Well, it’s simple, zoom out and take a glance at your days and weeks ahead. What do you have planned that’s truly paramount? Well, we know at base level eating and studying are essential, one you need to live, and the other you need to pass your Board Exams.

What else is paramount & essential?

  • Is it taking the proper amount of time or is it a waste?
  • Can you be doing some of the essential tasks together OR around the same time so you make the most of your downtime? 
  • What’s NOT paramount? (That’s the most important question you need to ask yourself.)

Your time comes down to prioritizing your days. While at first sitting down and laying it all out can seem like just another task added to your already packed day but if you sit and plan it once, you’re going to end up being less stressed when it comes down to it. Then, when you’re studying and feeling stressed change your mindset!

*REMEMBER: As you study and go through each question remember that for every second spent studying you are one step closer to being fully prepared AND one step closer to passing your Board Exams.

So the takeaway?

Prioritize your days & get your mind right! Plan plan plan… create a plan, and attack it! Next thing you know you’ll be in the groove and ready to pass your Board Exams with ease, and hey, we’re here every step of the way to help YOU!

Ready to dive in? Utilize our expert-curated Question Banks and maximize your studying today! 

Need more guidance? 

Contact us today! We’ll help YOU pass your Boards with ease!

Introducing: Observership Programs powered by My Psych Board

I bet you didn’t know we offered Observership programs right here at My Psych Board!

Yes, that’s right… we are your one-stop-shop place for all your studying needs, prep, and learning (and that’s not going to change)… We’re much more than your average Board Exam prep Q-Banks. But wait, we have much more to offer you. 

We can help get YOU into an Observership program which is an essential part of your career journey.

So what is an Observership & Why do residents need this?

Imagine an Observership as a Medical Internship that can be done both in person and via Telehealth to give residents practical, hands-on experience.

As part of this experience, you will be required to watch and listen to patient histories, physical examinations, procedures, surgeries, outpatient appointments, teaching rounds, and educational conferences. The entire experience is generally longer than a day, but no longer than 4 weeks!

The importance of this can not be overlooked. 

Most students will need to cover Observership hours to complete their residency.

Now of course this may not be required in your field so if you’re unsure if you need this (or just want to be safe) just send us a DM via our Instagram (@MyPsychBoard), Email, or drop us a call so we can point YOU in the right direction.

Ready to get started? Contact us today! We can’t wait to travel with you along your journey to passing your Psychiatric Board Exams!

How to create study habits that are long lasting!

Your study habits can make or break your success in school.

If you’re already struggling with how to create long-lasting study habits, have no fear… you’re not alone! May students go through the same issues as you.

The solution for long-lasting study habits is straightforward!

First, find a place to study regularly, consistency is key!

You might find that having a set time and place in which you study helps keep your motivation high as well. Even if you’re a procrastinator and tend to put it off until the last minute, finding a place that’s comfortable for you will make all the difference.

Next up: keep track of deadlines and important dates. If you know what’s coming up then you can plan accordingly and make sure not to procrastinate!

Once you’ve got those two things squared away, you’ll want to start thinking about how you study best. — Maybe it’s listening to music while reading; maybe it’s taking notes on index cards; maybe it’s something else entirely! Whatever works for you is great! Just remember: what works for someone else might not work for you.

After all your base preparation, don’t stuff & cram for your exams!

Instead, just relax and get ready for what’s ahead by practicing some relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. You’ll be surprised how effective these methods can be at helping calm down before big tests or projects!

Once you’re relaxed and have taken time for your mental health jump back into it! Throughout the weeks set aside time to quiz yourself with appropriate materials or question banks to ensure you’re retaining the information!

Still, feeling uneasy or overwhelmed? Contact us and we can help YOU pass your boards with ease!

Online Psychiatric Exam Prep and Tutoring: AVAILABLE NOW

Get ahead this school year with some extra help tailored to your exam needs.⁠

We offer test preparation and tutoring services for the ABPNPRITEUSMLE, and Nurse Practitioner Exams. You can gain access to topics such as:⁠

• Anxiety Disorders⁠

• Bipolar Disorders⁠

• Neurocognitive Disorders⁠

• Personality Disorders⁠

• Neurology⁠

• Psychopharmacology⁠

 & Much more!

So what’s all the fanfare about our exam prep?

Our approach offers access to unique questions and courses that prepare medical students and residents for their certifying exams. With our variety of test modes, multiple-choice questions, and vignettes you’ll finish our sessions feeling more comfortable and confident on your road to the exams!⁠

This program offers access to unique courses and question banks to prepare residents and medical students for their certifying exams. Each question is specifically tailored to the required difficulty and type of questions expected for their respective examination. New questions are continually being added to the question banks, ensuring the most current and up-to-date information is being made available. Individualized tutoring is offered to maximize user support; we meet with you to discuss your studying strategies, identify your goals, and target the area of study in which you need the most improvement. Finally, a tailored study plan is created to help you achieve your goals!⁠

Who is My Psych Board?

Prepare to pass your board exams with ease! My Psych Board offers access to four question banks, each uniquely tailored to the studying needs of those preparing to take the ABPN Certification Examination, PRITE Examination, USMLE – Psychiatry and Neurology categories, and Nurse Practitioner Examination.

Within our customer service, we strive to provide you with the tools necessary to overcome any of your questions and obstacles that may get in your way. From general information, tutor calls, and just being someone to talk you through the challenging times of taking your board exams; we’re here for you!

For more information or to get started, please call (216) 293-0282, email admin1@westlakebrainhealth.com, or head to our contact page here